Nighttime Pediatrics: Establishing a Nighttime Oral Health Routine

Children aren’t born knowing that they should brush and floss their teeth every evening. It is something that they must learn to do. Establishing a regular nighttime pediatrics oral health routine helps your child learn valuable skills that will keep their teeth, gums, and mouth healthy.

Why is Establishing a Routine Important?

On the surface it might appear as if the reason for establishing a regular routine for your child is to make things easier but there is a deeper – more important – reason. Children, especially those between the ages of 2 and 6, tend to be afraid of change and the unknown. When you establish a routine, you provide comfort to your child as they know what to expect.

Another reason establishing a regular routine is important is because it helps children learn what is important. Repeating the same actions over and over again emphasize to your child that it is important in their life. They may not be able to fully understand why it is important, but they know it is important.

Some other benefits that come from establishing a regular routine include:

  • Giving your child the opportunity to gain independence by learning valuable skills that can be performed without assistance
  • Helps your child have a calm environment should things get stressful or extreme change is ahead
  • Improves your child’s health as routines help reduce stress and encourage children to engage in healthy activities

An Example of a Good Nighttime Pediatrics Oral Health Routine

Many first time parents struggle with knowing how to establish a good nighttime pediatrics oral health routine. The American Dental Association has created a fairly easy nighttime routine that has successfully helped to establish good oral hygiene habits and encouraged children to develop other good habits such as getting a good night’s rest and eating healthy.

The following is an example of what a good nighttime pediatrics oral health routine would look like:

  • Start limiting snacks and sweets an hour or two before your child’s bedtime. If your child does need or want a snack or drink, encourage them to drink water and eat healthy snacks.
  • Before heading to bed, help children to brush their teeth. Remember to brush your child’s teeth for a minimum of two minutes, brush all surfaces of the teeth including the fronts, backs, sides, and tops, and to clean your child’s tongue.
  • After brushing make sure your child flosses their teeth. If they are younger, you may need to help them properly floss their teeth.
  • Read a bedtime story to your child after brushing and flossing. This helps your child to calm down and prepare to go to sleep.
  • Bedtime. Keep to a regular schedule when your child is supposed to go to sleep. Make sure you start the bedtime routine early enough so you aren’t rushing through the brushing and flossing.

Be Prepared to Change Your Child’s Bedtime Routine

No two children are alike. What works for one child won’t necessarily work for another child. Parents need to be prepared to make changes to a child’s nighttime routine. Changes should be made only when a child seems to be struggling with a certain routine.

Talk with Your Child’s Dentist to Get Tips on Creating a Good Nighttime Pediatrics Oral Health Routine

Pediatric dentists have a lot of experience helping parents create nighttime pediatrics oral health routines for their children. If you are having difficulty establishing a routine or you notice your child is still reluctant to brush and floss their teeth daily, ask your child’s pediatric dentist for help. Most pediatric dentists can provide you with recommendations for things to try to make brushing and flossing fun for your child so they will want to do it on a nightly basis.

Don’t have a pediatric dentist your child sees regularly? Call Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule an appointment for your child. We provide a caring and nurturing environment that is dedicated to creating a positive dental experience for both you and your child. If your child is reluctant to visit a pediatric dentist or has never been to a dentist before, we encourage you to schedule a meet-and-greet with our Ponte Vedra dentist and a tour of our office. Call our dental office today to schedule a tour of our offices.